January 7th, 2010
09:08 PM ET

Evening Buzz: "The Buck Stops With Me"

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Pres. Obama said today when it comes to terror threats against the U.S. that, "Ultimately, the buck stops with me."

This comes as Pres. Obama released a declassified report on the failed Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound jetliner.

Pres. Obama said U.S. intelligence officials had "sufficient information" to stop Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, who is accused of trying to kill all 290 people aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25. But Pres. Obama said "the dots were never connected" to foil the plot.

Released along with the report was a three-page order from Pres. Obama outlining what various agencies need to do to correct the "inherent systemic weaknesses and human errors."

Tonight we'll show which agencies have been put on notice and let you know what the changes could mean for you the next time you fly.

Sticking with airport insecurity, we also have new information on the breach at Newark Liberty International Airport last weekend. That's when a man slipped past a TSA checkpoint. Terminal C was shut down for hours. It turned out TSA cameras were rolling, but not recording. But another tape does exist of the incident. We'll show it to you tonight on the program.

We also have our continuing series "What's Next." Tonight we'll focus on education and talk with the head of Washington, DC schools, Michelle Rhee. Hear how she thinks education will change in the decade ahead for your children.

Plus, a possible major shake-up at NBC. Will comedians Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien be getting new time slots?

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Tim Gibson

    Utilmately yes, the buck does stop at the White House, and in my opinion it is time to point fingers. I recall when I began my past career in the airline industry there was an agent who was "on trial" in a discharge hearing for sending a passengers luggage to Israel without the passenger onboard. With full knowledge it would be caught in New York. That was the 90's, she was discharged.

    Where the buck stops is beyond the point, accountability for the salary those who are in positions to protect us from threat, both domestic and foreign earn should be red flagged for termination where it must be determined why that position should not be terminated from this point forward.

    As to the Newark security issue, how many people are really aware when they travel or are we all just distracted, including the TSA. Perhaps our attention is put where it is in an attempt of distraction just as the double agent invaded our compound killing himself and members of the CIA. Where are we weakest in our national defense?

    January 8, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Thanks to CNN political strategist for finally acknowledging that former President Bush or anyone in his administration has never came forward to apologize to the American people for 9/11 as President Obama has done.

    January 8, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  3. sandra

    the president is correct to say the buck stops with him. since he is now in office he knows there are lots of things broken and must be fixed. the terrorist will never stop their tactics and will continue attempts to break all barriers placed. so to lay blame is crazy right now. if each time this group seems as though they have gotten through, do we keep cutting the throats of people who are putting forward the efforts needed to keep the u.s. safe? it will be an on going battle for any president in office. the u.s. need to be on a united front. every time this president makes a concern and statement to build towards the future and learn from the past , so many are quick to break it down. al-qaeda is happy to cause such an upheaval amongst us. lets be strong and give a united front as the president is trying to convey. we all need to keep our eyes open to possible threats to our lives from this terrorist organization.

    January 8, 2010 at 4:06 am |
  4. Steve

    All I know is that under Obama's watch we've had White House party crashers and an individual on a Watch List get on a plane with a bomb.

    This didn't happen in 2008...or in 2007...or in 2006...or...etc...it happened in December of 2009! I am glad that "the buck stops" with Obama...because I certainly hold him responsible.

    I am tired of fancy speeches and a whole lot of rhetoric... It seems like all I hear is how "we're gonna"... If he was in a real job he'd be fired by now...

    January 8, 2010 at 1:27 am |
  5. David, Indiana

    It gets kind of complicated, but basically the CIA needed to call their office in the suspect's home country to follow up on the Umar Farouk, from Nigeria info. From what's described that would be a hot lead and info was ready.

    January 8, 2010 at 12:10 am |
  6. Marie Greene

    Due to the circumstances surrounding this President, his enemies, the republicans complaining all the time as a negative group of people, the no party and Michael Steele acting like a clown, the President is doing a good job. I pray for him and his enemies. We, as a county is only hurting ourselves showing signs of our President with a mustache, hate signs up about our President, etc. Please, people in America, we are only hurting and harming ourselves in America. Other countries see us as dummies. Don't you get it–Fight amongst yourselves and they fight us. Where is the intelligent gentlemen and women out there in America that has just "plain good old common sense." We can get along in America, let's keep our country strong by standing together and not being divided because we cannot stand and we will have ourselves only to blame. Open your eyes and see how you are destroying your own country with stupidity. Grown up America and let's pull together to help fight for our country to be the best in the world. Stop fooling yourselves as you call the President names and fight against him, fight against the enemy and live friendly amongst each other in your own country and see a different. Wake up America, someone is watching you!

    January 8, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  7. Louise

    I want to comment on the White House Party Crashers. I'm dismayed that they are being promoted by a Las Vegas Hotel for what they have done. They ought to be ashamed of themselves and nobody should be giving them 'the time of day'. Instead of being 'A-listers' they are 'S-listers'! I think they have already been given too much attention because that's exactly what they were after. Total Losers.

    January 8, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  8. terry horn

    I was proud of Obama today, I saw him finally stand up, and take blame, Was the blame his? Well he is the president, but I fear he surrounds himself with people who rarely think rationally, I think maybe this will show him that he alone bears the responsibiliy,of president, And that people like Pelosi and Reid are all to glad to step back and let him have it. Sooner or later he will have to take on Pelosi, or she will destroy him.

    January 7, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  9. Lynne Levy

    This young terrorist-wannabe bought a one-way ticket with cash and had no luggage with him. This alone should have set off alarms in someone's mind. This failed attack, as well as the 9-11 attacks, show how unprepared this country is. The TSA agents are a joke. They spend more time having personal chats than seriously checking passengers.
    I recently travelled within CONUS and was thoroughly checked by a TSA agent merely because I was in a wheelchair. While this search of my belongings, my wheelchair, and a quick pat-down was going on, quite a few unsavory looking characters went through "security" without a glitch.
    I suggest that the ACLU get over themselves and we, the US, start doing some serious racial profiling. Israel doesn't seem to have a problem with this because they value their safety more than anything else.

    January 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  10. mary

    Anderson, I think the blame on this terrorist situation goes back to the CIA, recently I saw something on NOVA about the fact that the CIA knew when the terrortists were in Calif. training for their flight, and refused to disclose this information, and if the FBI who also knewi were to say anything, because it was out of their jurisdiction, anyone who wanted to reveal this vital information would have lost their security clearance. This is exactly what happened again this time the CIA knew of this individuals potential threat to our govt. and once again failed to reveal this info. All this political bruha needs to stop between the CIA, and what is FBI jurisdiction. Someone needs to be held accountable. These are lives we're dealing with not some kind of political competition, and to have any branch of the security enforcement of our govt. intimidated to the degree that they don't feel they can reveal such information of the most serious degree, is a disgrace. Who or whatever branch is behind this intimidation needs to be investigated without any futher dealy!

    January 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  11. Susie

    Why has there been no mention or blame on the airline or airline reservatonist that sold the one-way ticket to a Nigeria using cash and no baggage? Shouldn't the buck have stopped there. Shouldn't a red flag have been raised immediately, before he even made it to the security gate?

    January 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  12. Degringolade

    Why is what the President's opponents "believe" as important as what the facts are. Too much attention is being paid to the view of the proported "other side." There ARE real arguments to be had on national security, but prominent figures on the right seem more interested in inflammatory, irrational, or imaginary rhetoric.

    January 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  13. hanad

    People need to stop worrying about how fast the presidents reaction was, and more about how to deter and dismantle al-qaeda. These terrorists are only interested in one thing the destruction of the civilized world it would benefit the entire nation to stop partisan bickering and concentrate on stopping them.Its sad to see republicans using any excuse to criticize this administration.

    January 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  14. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    I didn't here Obama mention the fact that he just cut the 2010 budget for the National Counterterrorism Center, the organization who's very job is to 'connect the dots. Also, how can you say you will hold people accountable, yet fire no one? Sorry, but his 3rd try at explaining this is just as pathetic as the first two. I think the biggest human failure here is Obama.

    January 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
  15. Nick.Selvan

    President should hold someone responsible and do something about it, rather than accepting every fault in himself. If every boss in a comppany does this then, it wont function efficiently, as the employees know that the boss will take the blame and they can escape all the time with their blunders. President cannot be blamed for agencies mistakes, which the common sense should have triggered the agency to revoke the visa, after the father's appeal. You do not need a PhD to figure this out, whrn a parent is turning in their own child. I am also amazed by Republicans reaction to capitalize politically, on this terrorist issue. I would have expected them to unite with President to show the unity in front of these Al-quida. Terrorist would be happy about our division and they would pull more to harm to this nation. They were happy about Iraq war as we spent more money on a useless war, and now they are posing a threat from Yemen, and next is Somalia where pirates may bay be earning money for the terrorists through ransom. Terrorist's plan is to make us spend more money, but what choice does President Obama has,but to take action. Republicans should support the President in this by offering constructive advice rather than politicizing, which democrats did during Bush's administration.

    January 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  16. Annie Kate

    Hopefully Obama has a plan to get the various agencies to work together to connect the dots; a lot of government agencies are territorial with their information and that needs to be set aside and cooperative work done to keep the air traveler safe. Looking forward to the segment on education – we really need to focus more attention there if our children are going to be competitive globally for jobs.

    January 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
  17. Fred Stock

    It is commendable, what Pres. Obama is doing...but he should be asking the allies, like Britain and Canada to investigate their Intel agencies, like British GCHQ and Canadian CSE, and take responsibility for their failures too....we're all in this together after all!

    January 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm |